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Diabetes Carbohydrates

What is the role of carbohydrates in diabetic people? Are carbohydrates bad in diabetes? Any kind of carbohydrate benefits diabetes?
(March 7, 2011)

Diabetes And Carbohydrates

Diet control plays a very important role in the management of blood sugar levels of patients with diabetes type 2, carbohydrates being the key factor to be watched. Diabetes and carbohydrates in the food consumed are closely linked because eating foods high in carbohydrates raises glucose levels in the blood. Are carbs bad for diabetics? No. Carbohydrates, proteins, fats and vitamins present in the food nourish the body and provide the energy needed to live.

Compared to fats and proteins, carbohydrates are the easiest to be converted into energy-infusing glucose released into the blood. 

Carbohydrates may be simple carbs like sucrose and fructose or complex carbs like those in starchy vegetables, dried beans and lentils, and grains such as oats and barley.  Soluble and insoluble fiber contained in vegetables, whole grains, legumes and nuts can help regulate and slow down the absorption of sugar and also contribute to creating a feeling of fullness. For those with diabetes, the carbohydrate count and the overall calories consumed may thus be reduced. To understand the role of carbohydrates in diabetes, one should be aware that the quantity of carbohydrates consumed is vital, not the type.

When a nutrition label on a food gives the number “total carbohydrates” per serving, it includes carbs from all three groups, and this number is very useful for carbohydrate counting. For those with diabetes, carbohydrates per day that can safely be consumed need to be worked out with a dietician, based on individual calorie requirements. Maintaining consistent levels of glucose in the blood is the goal for those with diabetes, and carbohydrates, particularly simple carbs, get converted into glucose very soon after a meal. For patients of diabetes, complex carbohydrates consumed, spread evenly over the meals eaten during the day will result in a steady release of glucose into the blood all through the day. Hence, for a diabetic, a carbohydrate counter is a very important tool.  A diabetic can get up to half the required calories in a day from carbohydrates, though fewer diabetes diet carbohydrates may prove even more beneficial. Since insoluble fiber is not digested, for foods that contain more than five grams of dietary fiber per serving, the carbohydrate counter deducts half the weight of the dietary fiber from the total carbs contained in the serving. 

Nutrition labels indicate the carb content as grams per serving. When it comes to diabetes and carbohydrates, serving sizes assume a great deal of importance. It should also be noted that certain foods like white bread or cake can raise glucose levels in blood much faster than others like brown bread or beans, even though they contain, weight wise, the same amount of carbohydrates; hence, diabetes patients should avoid them. To sum up, if you have been diagnosed with diabetes there is no reason to panic. Eating carbohydrates would increase your blood sugar levels, but this does not mean that you should skip carbohydrates altogether. Simply opt for carbohydrates that would give you more benefits as compared to others.   
Submitted by A M on March 7, 2011 at 11:21


Diabetes Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates and other nutrients are essential for providing energy and for other needs. Insulin is a hormone that helps in the absorption of glucose in the blood. In individuals with diabetes, lack of insulin results in increased blood sugar levels. People with type1 diabetes; fail to make insulin, whereas type 2 diabetics fail to react to the insulin that is produced. Carbohydrates in the diet are converted to glucose, thereby resulting in an increase in the blood glucose level.

Avoidance of carbohydrates is not recommended, as they are nutritious and are necessary for the various functions. They form an integral part of a nutritious diet. Complex carbohydrates, such as dietary fibre helps in warding off a few complications. The choice of right foods plays an important role.

Fibre helps in enhancing the digestive system and helps in increasing the satiety value or the feeling of fullness. The absorption of sugar is decreased, due to fibre in the food. Soda, candy and other food stuffs provide empty calories. Blood sugar is easily controlled by fibre or complex carbohydrates in the diet. Carbohydrates, such as refined sugars, white flour and so on are absorbed more quickly into the blood stream. Rapid digestion results in their easy entry into the bloodstream.

Submitted by E L on April 11, 2008 at 06:22


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